You only want to know one thing right – How good is it?
It’s great! – Read on…
The All-Star line-up of Marvel superheroes finally ‘assembles’ to the sound of “KAPOW!” and “KERCHING!”
‘The Avengers’ is an enormous juggernaut of superhero mayhem, with its all new model army of iconic superheroes showing all others the blueprint to follow for franchise expansion. Not only is ‘The Avengers’ a retina searing feast, but the culmination of Marvel’s masterstroke, years in the making, concluding what is surely only their first complete salvo. Expect more to come once the box office dosh is counted – rightly so, because ‘The Avengers’ is brilliant.
The juggling act to appease all fan sensibilities, cramming all the champions into one movie is done superbly. Not one ball is dropped in giving all heroes both a role to play and mega-action to deliver.
Hulk smashes! Thor Hammers! Iron Man Soars! all in unison to provide some of the greatest comic book-movie action seen yet, ably abetted by the full roster of heroes all playing their vital part to defend earth from E.T. Invader Loki.
‘The Avengers’ is a film of two very good halves that pauses for breath just long enough to characterise each hero adequately.
The show gets underway with a precise first half of character refreshers that doesn’t dwell too long on creating back story (already done in Marvel’s previous movies) allowing hero assembly via multiple hero versus hero face offs, serving as training sessions for the climactic battle with Loki’s other world army of expected reptilian like aliens.
A number of chatty, clear the air, ego bruising sessions gel the team by celebrating their differences and their similarities; the first of the movies veneer thin attempts at any political commentary and real world parallels of equality and tolerance. These sentiments are appreciated but not really necessary. An irrelevant early excursion into Germany, with all manner of unnecessary WWII references serves only to ensnare Loki, but does provide our first brilliant hero encounter.
And it’s the dazzling hero v hero battles in all their glory and the egotistical one upmanship via hilarious verbal volleying, where Tony Stark trumps all others that provide the biggest highlights and inevitable fan drooling – they are simple awesome. Thor v Iron Man, Thor v CaptainAmerica, Thor v Hulk! Its pure ear and eye candy for geeks and it’s brilliant.
With some self assembly and differences settled, the earth defending team is finally united to do battle with their true enemy, Thor’s Asgardian brother Loki, in tenure of the ‘Tesseract’, a cube of pure limitless energy, ripping portals through space that will unleash Armageddon on the mortals of earth.
The Frantic second half builds to a climatic New York City battle, where the gang all finally do battle together. It’s the big payoff, long years in the making, culminating in mega action, our heroes clashing and soaring through the big apple’s sky and streets at breakneck speed .
Pacing throughout is frantic, sacrificing any emotional interludes which are fleeting and not dwelt on long enough to really pull an emotional thread, but was The Avengers ever meant to be? Mix them up, sort out their differences and ship them out to give us what we have been waiting for.
The apocalyptic anticipation never quite reaches any level of epic peril, anaesthetised by continuous cracks at humour (which are brilliant) diluting any grandiose inertia created by perilous foreboding encounters. Danger gives way to humour too often to truly make it dark and epic, but this is the determined feel that director Joss Whedon strives for. Providing a buzz a minute, with laughs along the way on a truly funny comic hero action thrill ride, that barely stops to let you breath, cramming in a lot in two and a bit hours. The Avengers is not The Dark Knight, striving for exhilarating fun; a direction that best showcases the skills of a gifted team of heroes. No one fan of any hero will go away short changed as Whedon masterfully assembles his team to give everyone their fair share of game time. All are brilliantly used.
Tony Stark’s and Bruce Banner’s mutual genial respect, with Stark pronouncing Banner’s “other guy” as a gift not a curse, provides a great dynamic. Captain America’s adjustment into the world, seventy years beyond his own after “now seeing it all” allows ‘cap’ to lead as he should, now the noble unflinching defender whose sense of duty is never quashed. Thor continues his fight to do right, to undo his youthful errors and his belief in turning Loki from his evil path, ‘Thor’ is immense! And ‘Hulk’ is unleashed to create the best realising of the green beast seen yet.
‘Black Widows’, ‘Hawk Eyes’ and ‘Nick Fury’s’ mortal super spy abilities provide a thin human connection, and wisecracking is monopolised brilliantly by Stark who is given more quality one liners and quips than anyone. Downey Jr’s delivery is as timely as ever rivalling anything seen in previous Iron man entries.
‘The Avengers’ may just be the beginning to Marvel’s second phase of hero movies with confirmed sequels to Thor, Captain America and a third Iron Man. If this is just another precursor to even bigger mayhem and laughs then “put the hammer down” some more – plllllease.
As mega blockbusters go, The Avengers is the highpoint, never quite reaching the epic levels seen before in a hero movie and not quite equalling the altogether different Dark Knight entries, it is unashamedly brash, hilarious and frantic.